CV can't catch Arcadia

ARCADIA — When it comes to the race for the Pacific League title, the Crescenta Valley High girls' cross-country team has spent the season chasing Arcadia.

The gap between the Falcons and the Apaches widened a little bit more at Arcadia Park on Wednesday afternoon, where Arcadia won Pacific League meet No. 2 and beat out Crescenta Valley, 22-34.

It was the second straight league meet in which the Falcons finished runner up to their nemesis after falling by a slimmer 26-29 margin at Griffith Park on Sept. 23 and it clinched at least a share of the league crown for Arcadia. And, while the seven-time defending champion Falcons will still have an opportunity to force a co-championship at the league finals, there was an air of disappointment in Crescenta Valley's camp on Wednesday.

"We came out and looked pretty flat," said Crescenta Valley Coach Mark Evans, whose team was coming off an appearance on Saturday in the Clovis Invitational in Fresno, where the Apaches also competed. "They gave it a good effort and we just didn't have it today and they're disappointed.

"We really wanted to get them on their course, it just wasn't going to happen today. We'll try to get them next time and try to beat them the rest of the way through the season. I still think we're a better team than we showed today."

Arcadia's Catrina McAlister, who was absent from the Staub Invitational on Oct. 2, where the Falcons notched their only win over the Apaches in four tries this season, finished first overall in 17 minutes 48.28 seconds.

But, whereas Crescenta Valley got its top-three finishers across ahead of Arcadia's usual No. 2 finisher at Staub, Arcadia's pack proved to be too difficult to break up on Wednesday.

Glindyll Mancia of Arcadia was second in 17:52.12, followed by teammate Alejandra Quintero in 17:57.84. Burbank's McKenzie Paul, who finished second at the first league meet, was fourth in 18:10.05.

Crescenta Valley held down spots 5-7, led by Anneke Kakebeen (18:12.03), Claudia Pham (18:13.53) and Cali King (18:14.46), followed by Arcadia's Veronica Yamane (18:17), who nosed out Crescenta Valley's Erika Johnson by .21 seconds.

Brooke Moultrie was 12th for the Falcons in 18:43.56.

"It was a pretty tough race for us," Kakebeen said. "We did a pretty hard workout on Monday, our legs were a little dead on us and this course kind of takes it out of you, too. But I think we competed really well, considering."

Between the end of the first lap and the end of the second lap, Crescenta Valley saw its deficit balloon when Arcadia's fourth and fifth runners passed the Falcons' third. The Falcons recovered over the final lap, but not nearly enough to get back in the running.

"I wanted to let Catrina take it out and try to sit on [Arcadia] until a mile was done and then try to go with them," Kakebeen said. "But they kind of took off, so my legs just wouldn't turn over.

"Team-wise we wanted to have at least one or two in front of their second girl and then the rest in front of their top five, but we were a little tired."

Crescenta Valley's boys' team finished fourth behind Arcadia, Burbank and Burroughs, led by an eighth-place finish from Mike Duncan in 15:17.72.

The Falcons' scoring five was rounded out by David Owens (19th, 16:14.47), Bob Anderson (23rd, 16:25.41), Cory Williams (25th, 16:41.69) and Jordan Miller (29th, 16:51.06).

"I thought [the boys] were a little bit flat, too," Evans said. "I thought they ran pretty well and competed well. Mike really moved well that last mile."

Arcadia's Amar Moussa was the top overall finisher in 14:40.31.

Hoover beat out Glendale for fifth place, 22-35, in boys' competition and by the razor-thin margin of 27-28 on the girls' side.

The Tornadoes got an 11th-place finish from Jeremy Zadoorian in 15:33.46, just ahead of the Nitros' Chris Canlas (15:38.50).

Rafael Manzo (16:48.44) and Daniel Marin (16:48.81) were 27th and 28th, respectively, for Hoover.

In girls' competition, Renee Lawson was Hoover's top finisher at 15th in 19:21.25, followed by Frances Ramas (19th, 20:08).

Glendale was led by Fabiola Naranjo (26th, 20:42.25) and Lauren Hansen (31st, 22:06.09).

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